When a book arrives and the author is unknown to me, I look to see who has written the foreword. In this instance it was written by Clive Urquhart, Senior Pastor of Kingdom Faith Church.
He says he has known Sarah for 35 years and, “At the heart of Sarah’s life has been a strong desire to know Jesus … to live out what she is spurring us on to live, through what she writes in these pages”.
Sarah gives us glimpses of her life: married for 30 years, she loves working with the teens and 20s. As a young believer who had joined a ministry full-time, she saw a powerful move of God with hundreds of predominantly young people committing their lives to Christ.
Sarah challenges Christians to let go of past traditions and discern the time we live in
Years later, she still dances, makes documentaries, is a film director, public speaker, coach, and more.
The book’s title is illustrated by an anecdote about EMI, formerly the fourth largest record label in the world. By 2012 it faced huge financial losses, and the business was sold for very little money. Why? EMI failed to recognise changes to the digital age. It was a gap taken by newcomers such as Spotify.
Sarah challenges Christians to let go of past traditions and discern the time we live in, “ … recognising where the wind of the Spirit is blowing”.
I am used to reading a book which has a beginning and an end, but here each of the 19 chapters is complete. With fancy, yet serious, titles such as ‘Money Mindset’, ‘The Joseph Years’, ‘Sign of the Times’, ‘He who has Ears’, the chapters challenge Christians to hear and know God’s voice, and then be ready to discern what God is saying in these times, so we can truly be his Church.
There is space on the pages to write what you sense the Holy Spirit is saying and add specific Bible verses you have been drawn to and prayers you want to say.
Take ‘The Orphan Spirit’ chapter. Sarah shares her personal journey of feeling abandoned as a child and brings out how Joseph in the Old Testament must have felt loneliness and rejection when his brothers sold him, and he ended up in prison.
She maintains that many in today’s Church today feel like orphans, starved of love, care and affection. “It is time to let those who are orphaned know that there is a worldwide family waiting to embrace them!”
As Sarah reminds us, Esther 4:14 says: “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Gordon Pettie and his wife Lorna
Charles Gardner enjoys a romantic, biblically sound novel on his sickbed
The Lady’s Mine
By Francine Rivers
Confined to the spare bedroom while I dealt with Covid, my wife felt I should be entertained by Francine Rivers. The fact is, I’ve become a bit of an addict for her novels. Blame it on the feminine side of my nature.
But ‘The Lady’s Mine’ is more than a romantic novel. It tackles serious current issues such as homelessness and caring for the needy, especially orphans and widows. And, as usual, with a strong sense of biblical correctness.
Its heroine, Kathryn Walsh, single-handedly challenges the assumption that women can’t run newspapers
Set in a late 19th century mining town in northern California (where the author lives), this story will have you turning pages faster than you can blink an eye. Well, I got through its 450 pages in just over two days. Bear in mind that I’m a slow and deliberate reader, and wasn’t obviously feeling 100%.
All of which is great credit to this brilliant writer, who brings delightful humour, along with profound skill and depth of insight, into her many extraordinary characters and plots.
Francine Rivers demonstrates how just one person can make an amazing difference to a community, with God’s help and direction of course. And redemption is always on offer to whatever situation seems hopeless.
The plight of women – without votes or rights – is the key theme here. And its heroine, Kathryn Walsh, single-handedly challenges the assumption that women can’t run newspapers – or mines for that matter.
Delightful humour, along with profound skill and depth of insight
Though portrayed as the most beautiful young woman ever seen on the west side of the Rockies, and outnumbered multiple times over by the male species digging for precious metal, she is determined never to marry – because it would be relinquishing what few rights she has. But she is up against a very patient man – clearly the nicest saloon owner in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
For me, the story’s most intriguing and inspiring aspect was Kathryn’s feisty journalistic efforts. After resurrecting the newspaper founded by her late father, she uses it in the best possible way – to expose unrighteous work practices and encourage support for the dispossessed.
It’s a heart-warming story that is also honouring to the Lord, edifying and challenging. A literary work of art. And set in the Wild West! Who needs a movie?